The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 5, 2014

Revolutionary War soldiers remembered on July 4

ANDOVER — More than 50 people attended a ceremony honoring the lives of three Revolutionary War soldiers buried in the Andover Congregational Church Cemetery.

The ceremony was one of four sponsored by the Northeastern Ohio Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. The combined ceremonies were to honor 15 Revolutionary War veterans buried in Ashtabula County cemeteries.

A new headstone was created for Seth Hillyer who was born in 1756 and fought in numerous battles during the Revolutionary War before moving to Andover in 1818.

John Pickett and James Wade also were honored with new grave markers designed to stand the test of time.

Stephen Hinson, treasurer of the Ohio Society of the Sons of the American Revolution said the organization’s national leadership is pushing to help make sure soldiers tombstones are clearly marked.

Hinson said the organization coordinates efforts to get new stones, or improved markings, through families of the veterans. He said the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will pay for the tombstones, at no charge, but the requests must come from families.

The tombstone for Hillyer was only a semblance of its former self and needed to be replaced. Jason Root, a sixth generation grandson of Hillyer, found out about his connections to Hillyer about two years ago while doing genealogical research.

He made the request to the government and three extended family members pulled a cloth from the stone during the unveiling ceremony.

James Pildner, past president of the NEOSAR, was the keynote speaker and shared ideas from an essay entitled “Just a Piece of Paper.”

“Freedom is not a piece of paper. It is an idea, a lifestyle,” he said. He also detailed the sacrifices made by those who signed the Declaration of Independence so long ago.

“They signed the Declaration of Independence knowing the penalty would be death if they were captured,” Pildner said.

He said five were captured, 12 lost their homes and two lost sons to the war.

Pildner said the signers were all educated men, including 24 lawyers and jurists with means. “They had security, but they valued liberty more,” he said.

Pildner urged those in attendance to take time from Fourth of July festivities to appreciate the sacrifices made by our founding fathers.

Maggie Stasiak, Andrew Root and Hannah Root pulled the cloth from the Hillyer gravestone while Kenneth Brown of Rock Creek assisted in placing a wreath at the grave of distance relative of John Pickett who served as a Minute Man in the Lexington Alarm.

Four Revolutionary War veterans Abda Dolph (De Wolf), John Fenn, Francis Lyman and Nathan Mason were honored at West Andover Cemetery.

Eleazer Heath, Elijah Morse, Elnathan Pratt and Fred Simmons were honored at Wiliamsfield Cemetery.

Joshua Giddings, Levi Leonard, Gilbert Palmer and Ezra Woodworth were honored at West Williamsfield Cemetery.

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